Sep
24

Sending out a Memorable Newsletter

creating a newsletterWe all have to deal with the assault on our inboxes that comes in the form of generic, forgettable emails. The senders of these forgotten emails don’t intend for what they send to end up in your spam folder. It just happens to turn out that way. Anyone who’s signed up to receive newsletters knows a generic one when they see it. The content and design of the newsletter is unremarkable. It looks like whoever created it opened the newsletter template in Microsoft Word and plugged Clip Art and generic content into it. Sometimes the creation of generic newsletters is justifiable, especially when they come from private individuals or companies that don’t necessarily have enough money in their budget to hire someone creative. At the same time, there’s no excuse for failing to find the right way to make something presentable to the people you’re sending your newsletter to. The information is out there for anyone to be able to figure out how to create a newsletter like the professionals. If you want to learn how to master Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, all you have to do is read and digest the massive amount of tutorials that are available for both products.

The first thing that you need to do to create a memorable newsletter is look at examples of other newsletter templates. Study what people do right and where they go wrong. Combine all of the things that other people do right to produce the ultimate newsletter. A lot of people don’t like to be told that they need to buy a product or go to an event. There are creative ways to sell something to a group of people without coming right out and telling them what you’re doing. A good writer has the ability to say something several different ways without detracting from the original meaning. They could tell some creative story or present their product in a way that makes people think that they need it in their lives without realizing that someone just sold them an item. A newsletter that’s a thinly veiled advertisement or an outright sales effort is surely going to go into the spam folder. Each internet user receives hundreds of emails in a day, so you have one chance to make a good impression on them. If you let them down, you will have no additional opportunities to get into their good graces.

Email marketing software exists that tests your newsletters based on what they know about common spam filters. You can use this information to alter your newsletter to make it so it will pass through the filters and make their way into the inbox of your recipient. This software comes at a minimal price. Your newsletters will start to look like they’re professional after a while. A successful newsletter is able to generate consistent traffic and revenue for your website. You have to work at it until your newsletter starts to work for you rather than the other way around.

Sep
06

Tips for Landing Your First Job

getting a jobWhen you are on the hunt for a new job the interview is one of the most crucial things you will do, and your first impression in that interview is critical. Here are some helpful tips that will make it easier for you to land your first job!

Be yourself

The impression that you give from the moment you walk in the door can stick with you and affect the way you are viewed throughout the rest of the interview. Therefore, it is extremely to be well groomed and well dressed. You want to put off a positive self-image and the idea that you care about yourself and your profession enough to look professional. Watch the language that you speak in case you do let some inappropriate words slide from your tongue from time to time! Know what type of environment you are in and make sure that you are elevating yourself to the company’s standards.

Dress the part

If you want an employer to hire you, look like their staff. If they can see that you are there to dress and act the part, it will make it much easier on them to see you as a member of their organization.

Shave!

When you come in to an interview in most cases it is important to be clean shaven along with other grooming tips. However, to have the smooth face for the professional look you want your skin to look good. If you have to remove your hair and reveal your skin you want to make sure your skin looks good. Keep up on your shaving and use good products to ensure better skin conditions and appearance. You don’t want to rush to shave away a bunch of scruff the morning of an interview and discover ingrown hairs and a rush that resulted in razor burn. Take the time to take care of your face, and make sure you do a good job. Using good products can help. And there are even products for those ingrown hairs and razor bumps.  The Art of Shaving has a number of high quality products to consider in order to make your skin look great!

Ask questions

An employer will ask you a number of questions but it is always a good thing to be prepared to ask them some questions as well. They will ask you hard questions but come back with a few hard questions of your own! Just be careful about seeming like an arrogant person or a person that wants to take a lot of time off. Do your research and get to know the company from their website and other information you can learn so that you are properly prepared for the interview.

Aug
13

How to Transfer Data between Computers

Data transferGetting a new computer can be great, until you realize that you need to move all of your programs, files and information from your old computer to the new one. How to transfer data between computers then becomes a primary concern. It used to be that transferring data and information was a very time consuming process as you used a portable drive such as a flash drive, tape backup, or other device to completely copy everything from the old computer and carefully copied it onto the new computer.

Today there are many programs and options available that simplify the data migration or transfer process. Companies such as Dell.com/us offer solutions that will work for you.

What exactly is data migration?

In a short synopsis, data migration is the process of transferring all of the data between computers or storage systems, from one system to another. While updating computer systems might be one reason for transferring data, others might also include consolidation of data, rollovers, and transitions. In the past these migrations have caused down time as well have been costly and disruptive. With the online options available today this does not need to be the case.

Steps for a proper data migration

When preparing to migrate or transfer all of the data from one computer to the next it’s important to make sure that certain requirements are met and certain steps are followed.

  • Create a plan:
    • Begin by making an assessment of the environment you are transferring from and the environment you are transferring to.  While many times the environment is the same or similar if there are differences you need to make note of those differences or particulars.
    • Choose a migration tool or service that will allow you the best outcome when transferring data.
    • Create the migration plan.
    • Perform the migration:
      • Most importantly don’t let either computer or device go to sleep during the migration.
      • If you have chosen a migration program follow the directions given by the program.  If you are using an online backup/restore option you will select all data files you want to move over and then begin the backup process on the original computer.
      • On the new computer you can use the restore feature to install the files copied from the original computer.
      • Validate:
        • Complete any steps given by the program to complete the migration.
        • Finally, make sure that the data transferred correctly.

The key when migrating data is to use a trusted program and follow instructions. The best method of migrating data files is to use an online backup service from the beginning, and then you will have instant access to all of your files on any platform. Not only is the online backup method of migration great for coping large amounts of files or data simultaneously, there are times when you might only need to transfer one or two files. If you have an online backup system you use regularly you can easily access any file at anytime from any computer for download just as easily.

May
23

Rewarding Your Employees For Hard Work

giving employee awardsEmployee recognitions and rewards are not just a nice thing to do; they are in fact vital to your business in increasing morale of your employees.  Using a reward and recognition system to showcase employees going above and beyond specified duties, or those who make a difference will motivate others within the company to perform at their peak as well.

If you are looking to implement a reward system in your company, be sure to consider the following criteria:

  • Once you begin an award or recognition system it needs to be something you can maintain.
  • You need to establish criteria on which the awards are based.
  • Recognitions should occur in a timely manner.
  • The reward given should be consistent.

Here are some ways you can reward employees for their hard work:

  • Create pintable certificates that you can present to your employees to keep.
  • Provide gift certificates to employees.
  • Create a recognition wall in a prominent place of display.
  • Send hand written notes of appreciation or recognition.
  • Give them bonus time off or allow them to leave early on a Friday
  • Allow them to park in a designated parking stall for recognized employees

The other important thing is having a way to find out which employees deserve recognition.  Ideas for noticing the hard work and efforts include:

  • Have a nomination box for customers or co-workers to submit names of those they notice working hard or making an important contribution
  • Set a production or other goal employees can try to achieve and recognize all of those that do.
  • Award employees on anniversary dates for their years of service.
  • Allow for random recognition when you see an employee go out of their way to help another co-worker of they are “caught” helping a customer in a remarkable way.

If as an employer you make the effort to recognize in a real, tangible way the efforts and strides your employees are making for your company, you will find there is increased morale and your employees are more motivated in their jobs and strive for continued recognition.

In fact, consider ways to recognize your employees not only individually, but as a group.  Consider sponsoring employee and family picnics or outings.  This not only lets your employees know that you recognize their hard work and want to reward them for it, it also allows you the option of recognizing the contribution of their family members in supporting the employee as well.

By making recognition and acknowledgement of hard work a part of your business practices you will find you have happier, more dedicated employees who will stay with your company longer and give more of themselves for the company as well.

Apr
06

Cutting IT Costs

  AltDuring these lean, post-recession years, it is increasingly important to reduce costs and to make investments that will reduce future costs. IT departments have many opportunities to reduce spending by taking advantage of new technological improvements to “do more with less.”

Using the virtualization technology of a Dell Vmware server allows the IT department of a company to cut costs significantly by using server space more efficiently. Much of the capacity of large servers can go unused when a multitude of processes requiring different operating systems are relegated to different computing units inefficiently. Virtualization solutions engineered by the partnership between Vmware products and Dell engineering has produced products with the ability to more efficiently partition server space in such a way that multiple operations and operating systems can be contained within partitions made on one server. This can reduce the number of servers needed to process the computing needs of an organization, which can significantly reduce expenditures because servers are neither free nor cheap, so fewer servers needed translates directly to fewer servers that need to be purchased. Fewer servers also require less resources, such as electric power and resources needed for cooling the servers, which reduces costs and is more environmentally responsible, if you’re into that sort of thing. With fewer servers, there is also a decreased need for regular maintenance, which makes the number of servers increasingly more manageable. It is interesting to imagine the global significance of a move to more efficient computing processes; if all the server space in the world were used with maximum efficiency and all excess space was left unused, how much electricity would be saved, how much of the world’s resources could be used for other things or conserved for future use?

Dell virtual desktops also allow for the reduction of costs because they allow for centralization of computing. Virtual desktops, for example, allow employees to use their personal computers as an interface with the main server, where the programs being used are actually being run. This allows for all of the computing to take place in one location, but for access to that computing power to occur at various locations. Desktop virtualization increases efficiency by making it possible to access personal information that would be stored on a personal desktop from a number of different computing stations, which increases the availability of vital information.

When looking to cut IT costs, it is necessary to be willing to spend when investing in new technologies that will increase productivity. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to purchase new technologies in an effort to cut costs, it is crucial to remain relatively up to date on the most current, and therefore most efficient, technology. The funds spent on purchasing new technology should be seen as an investment that will pay off in terms of increased efficiency that will allow IT to accomplish more with available resources. It is important to remember that an over-zealous effort to cut costs can sometimes do more harm than good, and that it is necessary to either maintain current productivity or increase productivity while also decreasing costs.

Apr
04

Interview Etiquette

When you dress sharply for a job interview, it is more likely to go well and the odds of being offered the job are highly in your favor.

There is a certain etiquette that goes with a job interview. Much of it seems like common sense, however there is a huge amount of the American population that continues to fall victim to these classic blunders. Everyone is nervous before a job interview, it is only natural. Do not let that nervousness translate into mistakes and cause you to not think clearly. Here are some tips for any job interview.

  1. Not preparing for an interview. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as an interviewee is not researching the company that is interviewing you and thinking that you can simply “wing it”. That may have worked for your sophomore year english project, but it does not ‘fly’ in the professional job environment. You will come off much more polished and intelligent if you look as though you know what you are doing and you really do. Know what the job is that you are applying for. Have a friend ask you some typical job interview questions so that you are prepared to answer them in a clear, concise, and eloquent manner.
  2. Dressing poorly. You would be amazed by how many people show up to job interviews at an office building in flip-flops and raggedy jeans. This is not appropriate to wear to work, why would it be appropriate when you do not even have the job yet? Dressing slovenly or haphazardly will send the wrong message across to the people who are interviewing you. Your dress represents the type of person you are. Make sure that you have brushed your hair, brushed your teeth, put on deodorant, and smell good. What you want is to make a fabulous impression within the first five seconds of the interview, and you do that by dressing powerfully and sharply. Wearing a suit is always good, and women can do so as well. Other options for women include office-appropriate pencil skirts and low heels.
  3. Do not, under any circumstances, walk into the interview chewing gum. When you do so you appear to be no more than twelve years old and you instantly send across an image of apathy and lack of seriousness. If you do chew gum, after a morning coffee perhaps, be sure that you spit it out before you enter the room.
  4. Be a real person. This may sound silly, but there are many people who freeze up during an interview and only give general answers to questions. You are allowed to smile and talk a little bit about yourself. Respond in a clear way and they will know that you are a sharp person and intelligent. Focus on the interviewer because when you stare at the back wall you are not sending a good message across. When you do so they may be thinking that you are a passive person who will not accomplish the job that they have in mind.

If you follow this simple advice, you will be fine. Present yourself in the best manner possible so that they will see the best you there is.

Mar
25

ADD and Your Job

When you assess your strengths and weaknesses, then you can find a job that fits with your ADD.

If you are one of the many people living with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in the United States, then you know how hard it is to find a job that you like and that pays well. THe job hunt is difficult for everyone, but seems to be more so when you have ADD. It is true, that ADDers can adapt well and make the most of their surroundings. The important thing, when choosing a career, is that you find something that maximizes your talents and that you would happily excel in.

There is a poll on ADDitudemag.com where various people diagnosed with ADD voted as to what they would hate most in a job. The number one aspect of a job (at 40%) they would absolutely hate is if the job gave them mindless and repetitive work. That is the ultimate in torture for an ADDer. The second highest aspect (at 18%) was if the job gave them strict deadlines and a very strict schedule. When you have ADD, you thrive off change and lenience with deadlines. As you look for a job, make sure that it is one that you can see yourself enjoying, otherwise you will not be happy or successful in it.

Below, I will list some options for jobs that tend to work well for ADDers. However, this is not a comprehensive list and is by no means strictly calibrated to fit your life and your particular brand of ADD. Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses and it is important that you know your own. If you do not then you become bunched up into the general ‘ADD’ group and while that may be more beneficial than not being grouped in there, it is not as helpful as it could be. When you know how your work best and worst, then you can use these as guidelines to propel yourself to joy and success in the workplace.

Creative jobs tend to be incredibly good for people with Attention Deficit Disorder. The ADD mind thinks quickly and critically and so careers in marketing, design, and anything artistic are generally good fits. They are able to create good and lasting ideas, others can help them with the actual followthrough. Medicine is also a good place for those with ADD minds. That career path requires quick thinking, problem solving, and someone to handle all of this under high levels of pressure. These are situations where the average ADDer works best and thrives in the creative and adrenaline filled environment.

ADD people are also great entrepreneurs, however they do need someone else there who can keep them on track and make sure that they do not lose sight of the end goal or anything in between. Thinking ahead is not the ADDer’s strong suite. The coming up with a great idea and the execution are very good for the creative thinker and allow them to come up with their own schedule and deadline and work in a place that they can create for themselves. That is the ultimate environment.

Feb
29

Want to Become an Entrepreneur?

This post was written by Gary Lightman, a lawyer in the Philadelphia area with 30+ years experience who helps small businesses with legal issues.

 

If you’re going to school with the intent of starting a company afterwards (or during), or you are working on ramping up your start-up company already, you’ll likely have about a thousand things on your plate at any given moment: building your brand, managing damage control, looking for ways to maximize the audience you reach, and (of course) trying to stay afloat. Understandably, you own the core elements of your business; you’re the captain of the ship, and you know where you want to take her. But even a very excellent and capable captain needs a crew—there are just too many jobs on the boat for one person to handle alone. And while the captain has the ultimate say as to where the ship goes, he or she does well to try to staff the ship with the most competent sailors possible, and then listen to the advice that they give.

Staying out of legal trouble can require hiring someone else like an accountant.

Likewise, you should look at the various tasks you’re currently tackling, and evaluate whether you might perhaps need some help. Specifically, think about your finances and the records you’re keeping. Think about how familiar you are with the laws at play when dealing with taxes. If you can realistically say that you’re anything less than an expert on taxes, you might want to consider hiring a competent accountant to keep your books in order.

 

Before you get defensive, it’s no sign of weakness to admit that you need help. After all, the success of your business is the most important thing, so why not bring in an expert to make sure that you’re using the company finances in the wisest way possible?

 

A good accountant (preferably one that’s familiar with your industry) can be an invaluable resource. In addition to making sure that you’re not overextending the resources of the business, an accountant can help you greatly during tax season. This is because the IRS scrutinizes the business deductions you make when you file your taxes. If anything’s amiss, you’ll be sure to hear about it, most likely in the form of an audit. Audits can be very stressful and costly affairs, so it’s better to play it safe when making your deductions. Small business owners can get into trouble, though, if they’re not familiar with some of the tax laws that control what can and cannot be deducted. A good accountant will help you know which things to steer clear of. Avoiding an audit will help you focus your time and energy where they belong: on your business.

 

Beyond helping you know what can and cannot be deducted, an accountant can help you know whether any of your current business practices disqualify you from making a specific deduction in the first place. For example, if you run your business from a home office, you might be excluded from claiming a deduction on the office if you also use it as a guest room. An accountant can help you do things right.

 

So as you pilot your ship into new seas, consider the merits of bringing an accountant along for the journey.

Feb
23

Using Group Activities to Build Team Unity

One of the keys in an organization’s long term success is team unity, thus it is no surprise companies allot a sizeable amount of budget on group activities to foster camaraderie, develop strengths and address weaknesses of the staff.

There are actually several group activities targeting on building team unity and there are two major categories for these – one is the competitive type which pits coworkers against each other and declares someone or a group as the winner, and the other type is the non-competitive group activity that revolves in a common goal and gives rewards to those who produce good results.

If the organization is set on organizing a team unity activity, it is vital for leaders to identify current pressing issues of the organization.  Then, proper planning with employees’ involvement follows to address these team unity concerns.  The leaders have to bear in mind that the team must gain benefits from the event, otherwise, the group activity ends as a fruitless endeavor.Group activities help to build unity

You can do the popular and fun group activities as listed below.  However, you can enhance these suggested team unity activities according to the team’s culture.  It is also more interesting if the activity hits on the interest of the group to guarantee success.

  •  Halloween in the Office

A growing number of American offices celebrate the Halloween since it has become one of the popular events of the year.  Since Halloween is not tied to any religion and race, it is ideal for a team unity event.

Companies take the opportunity of celebrating a Halloween event since it boosts morale and teamwork.  Such group event creates a common activity among employees, and, improves communication and inter-departmental cooperation.  Hidden talents and creativity surface and you get to identify the people who have these qualities in the organization in a non-hierarchical setting.  Creativity, team leadership, and cooperation become evident in this scenario.

Following are various ways of having a Halloween group activity in the office that foster team unity:

  •  Halloween Costume Contest

You can set-up and publish contest rules, including categories for a Halloween costume contest.  You may also want to separate contests for teams and individuals such as Women’s Halloween Costumes for 2012, Most Original Halloween Costume, Best Women’s Halloween Costumes, and Most Scariest Halloween Costume are examples of awards you can give during this event.

  •  Halloween Party

A Halloween party usually works best at lunch time but some have it during breakfast.  You can make it as simple or massive as your budget may allow with cookies to buffet lunch.  Having a party increases the employees’ time to interact, even if they do not choose to join a costume contest.

  • Area Decorating

During the Halloween event, allow employees to decorate their group areas.  Whatever is the outcome of their Halloween decorating efforts tells you something about the people in the group and their team spirit.  You can spot informal leaders who emerge during the activity.

  • Other Games and Contests
  • Holiday Parties

Apart from the Halloween party, celebrating holidays and incorporating these in the office helps create motivational team unity.  These allow employees an opportunity to interact with other people in the organization apart from their colleagues in the same department, and allow expression of creativity and leadership talent among all people in the organization.

  •  Potluck Meals

With these few suggestions, you can head on to great group activities that aim for team unity.  Besides being good for business, these are sure fun for the employees and will help employees love their work.

Feb
15

Interviewing 101

Make your next interview the best one yet!

A good amount of these posts have been about interviews and such. The reason for that is when you find a job that is only part of the bigger issue and once you have been hired, then there is not much you can do except perform the work that is required of you. When going into an interview, it is best to get all the help that you can. Ask friends to quiz you on popular interview questions so that your responses can be professional and well representative of your character. Plan your outfit so that it is flattering and professional also. Here are some more interview tips that can help you land the job that you want.

The most important thing to remember about an interview is that it is your time to “sell yourself”. Imagine that you are a salesman and you have been given a product to sell, that product is yourself. How would you do it? You would focus on the positives and make the product look as good as you possibly can. That is what you need to do when going into an interview, sell your product (yourself) to the interviewer. Dress sharply, speak eloquently, and be respectful.

One job advice website says that “if you want to be an exceptional candidate, then you need exceptional preparation.” The times when you go into an interview and feel like you rock it are the times that you are prepared. Like I said earlier, have someone quiz you so that you know what your responses will be. Your friend can give you feedback and help you look the best you can.

Know exactly what it is that you are applying for. When a potential candidate comes in for an interviewer, they will probably be asked about the position that they applied for. It is critical that you know the tasks you will be asked to perform and the type of job that it is so you can respond to that question. Also, when you know what the job is asking of you it is easier to incorporate your own response into the interview that demonstrates you already have a bit of prior experience in a similar job or something like that. It is not bad if you tailor your responses to fit your job, it is a highly intelligent thing  to do.

Make sure that your references suit the position that you are applying for as well. You want to be their ideal candidate. If you are applying for a position in accounting, then you would not want to put down the time you worked as a summer counselor at a barn teaching kids to ride. That would be much better suited for a job where you are interacting with people a great deal. What you would want to write if you are going into accounting is a job that required a high level of organization and mathematical skills.

Do your best to become their ideal candidate using the experience and references that you have. That will make you a much more appealing candidate.